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Noosa Shire Council

Water Collection and Treatment Water Collection and Treatment

Rainwater Tanks

A Council plumbing approval is required when connecting a rainwater tank to internal plumbing fixtures.

View the Frequently Asked Questions document [222KB] for more information about rainwater tanks.


Greywater is waste water from the bath, shower, hand basin and laundry which can be diverted for reuse on lawns and gardens. Kitchen greywater is not suitable for reuse, as grease and oil can clog irrigation systems and build up on soil surfaces.

Under the state government's Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002, residents in sewered areas may use greywater by means of:

  • manual bucketing
  • connecting a flexible hose to a washing machine outlet
  • installing greywater diversion devices (with Council approval) and treatment plants by licenced plumbers, connected to an irrigation hose
  • surface or sub-surface system (with Council approval).

Care should be taken if reusing greywater because of its:

  • potential health risks to humans
  • potential for environmental damage to soils, ground water, and waterways due to increased nutrient and chemical levels.

Council approval for greywater diversion and treatment systems

A Council permit is required before installing either:

  • a greywater diversion device, which diverts greywater from the bath, shower, hand basin and/or laundry to an irrigation hose. Untreated greywater cannot be stored.
  • a greywater treatment system, which collects the greywater and treats it to a high standard for reuse as garden irrigation.

A permit is not required for manual bucketing or connection of a flexible hose to a washing machine outlet.

Information for plumbers

The greywater guidelines for plumbers on the Department of Housing and Public Works website can help plumbers assess whether the home owner has suitable and sufficient land to distribute greywater.

Plumbers should use the guidelines to give advice on the purchase and installation costs of greywater systems, prior to the home owner making an application to Council.

The treatment and disposal of all wastewater generated on properties that are not connected to a reticulated sewerage system must be undertaken by an on-site sewerage facility.

On-site sewerage facilities

An on-site sewerage facility stores, treats and disposes of household wastewater on the property. Poorly sited or maintained on-site sewerage facilities can impact public health and the environment. Sewerage facility owners must ensure their systems are maintained and functioning properly.

The disposal of effluent (treated sewage) may occur:

  • on the property on a designated area (called a land application area)
  • off the premises by a common effluent drainage system
  • off the premises by collection from a holding tank by a council-approved liquid waste carrier.

A common effluent drainage system is where two or more premises have their wastewater combined (usually after primary treatment) and transported to a common land application area independent of premises where the wastewater was generated.

Such systems over 20 EP would also require approval and further monitoring from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Types of on-site sewerage systems

Treatment systems for household wastewater include:

  • conventional domestic sewage treatment plants (secondary treatment or better)
    • activated sludge system
    • biological trickling filter system
    • extended aeration system
    • aerated/aerobic sand filter system
  • septic tanks (primary treatment)
    • all-waste septic tank (all household wastewater)
    • black water septic tank (toilet, urinal and bidet wastewater only)
    • greywater septic tank (sullage wastewater only)
  • composting systems
    • dry vault system (toilet waste only – waterless)
    • wet system ( all household wastewater – may be considered a domestic sewage treatment plant
  • holding tank
    • off the premises by collection from a holding tank by a council-approved liquid waste carrier
    • grey water treatment/diversion facility.

Although Council approves the installation of an on-site sewerage facility, the treatment system will require product approval from a state government department or demonstrated compliance with a manufacturing code or Australian Standard before it is approved.

Types of land application areas

The designated area on a property for application of the treated effluent is as a land application area and includes:

  • irrigation system
    • surface irrigation (spray above ground)
    • sub-surface irrigation (drippers in shallow trench – large surface area)
    • covered surface irrigation (drippers on natural ground covered by mulch, woodchip, etc – large surface area).
  • evapotranspiration-absorption trench/bed/mound
    • trench or bed (embodies the principles of evaporation, transpiration and absorption)
    • elevated sand mound (specially constructed on natural ground level).

The type of land application area will depend on the level of treatment the wastewater has received prior to disposal.

On-site sewerage forms